In the News

Whitman Retiring After 50 Years at Indian River Golf Club

By Greg Johnson

The Gaylord Golf Mecca tips a hat to Pat Whitman, who has decided to retire after 50 years of working at the 99-year-old Indian River Golf Club.

The long-time head superintendent started at the course for a summer job in 1972, eventually became superintendent and will officially retire when things are packed up and maintained for the winter. A replacement will be named soon and start in February.

“Pat has been an incredible superintendent and has worked so hard for so many years,” said general manager Corey Crowell. “He probably worked the hardest he has ever worked this last year too because we had trouble finding enough staff. He didn’t mail it in. The course is in great shape as usual. He’s going hard to the end. He is out there today still blowing leaves.”

Indian River closed for golf last weekend, and Crowell admitted not having Whitman around will take some adjustment.

“Never had to worry about the course with Pat on the job,” he said. “It will be a big, big change.”

Whitman said previously that when you get busy the years go by quickly.

“It is non-stop in the spring,” he said. “I can’t golf until halfway through June or even into July. Everything seems to need to be done all at one time, and you can only have so big of a crew. You never get to put it on cruise control. Something is going wrong all the time. You battle Mother Nature all the time and roll with the punches on that. You have golf a few months, and then fall cleanup, then shut her down when the snow flies, then do maintenance, and I take a month off and we go right back to it.”

Pat will be missed but well remembered at Indian River. In 2018 he directed the building of a new putting green, and the club decided to name it in his honor for his dedicated service. There’s a stone/plaque next to the green that declares the site is “Pat’s Putting Green.”

“Pat almost retired last year – I mean he is 67 – but he figured that was year 49 so he would go one more to get 50,” Crowell said. “I think he’s staying in the area. He talked about one day just sitting on a mower and getting to mow without any responsibilities. Who knows? He’s a part of this place and a big reason we have been able to call ourselves the friendliest club in the north.”

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